My second read of Sue Gee - very different from Reading in Bed. Set in 1860 we have Richard taking up his first position as a young curate in this village of Herefordshire. His father himself had been a vicar and Richard is very keen to follow his father's footsteps in the best manner possible. But, Richard falls in love unfortunately with the vicar's wife. He falls in love the first moment he sees her and it is reciprocated and therein lies the problem.
The book at a much slower pace than expected somehow felt for me suitable for the time, the story told and the pace of life at that moment. Everything fell in slow motion as it were and you knew you were being led to a climax and a downfall from the word go. I felt the sense of doom surrounding Richard and Susannah even at times of much joy and merriment like at the first wedding which Richard officiated at. The moment Richard started writing in his journal his feelings for Susannah I wanted to cry out and tell him no no - do not write it down. This is going to be your downfall. I always seemed to be holding my breath at every chapter as I felt that this peaceful part of the book is going to come to an end and all hell is going to break loose. There seemed to always be a strong contrast of feeling at every turn - light and dark, happiness and sorrow - this was throughout the story.
The story is very sensitively told, no brashness about it at all. I loved the descriptiveness of the countryside first in winter which was bitter and harsh, and then in the spring with all its beauty.
For me maybe since I live in the tropics, this description of seasons is very evocative and interesting specially as we do not have distinct seasons!
I am so glad that I found this author and also liked the contrasts between the two books I read.
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